Longhorns land nation’s top big man

Big West's Michael Porter Jr., right, shoots against Big East's Mohamed Bamba during the first half of the McDonald's All- American boys high school basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Big West won 109-107. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Big West's Michael Porter Jr., right, shoots against Big East's Mohamed Bamba during the first half of the McDonald's All- American boys high school basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Big West won 109-107. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the second straight year Shaka Smart has landed the top remaining recruit in college basketball and for the second straight it’s one of the top big men. Six-foot-eleven Mohamed Bamba from Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania signed with Texas on Thursday, announcing his decision in a piece he wrote in The Players Tribune.

“Coach Smart understood from day one that I’m someone who is looking to make a profound impact, both on and off the court,” Bamba said. “The more I learned about The University of Texas and the city of Austin, the more I realized this was an ideal platform for me to pursue my many goals.”

“I’m extremely excited that Mo has chosen Texas,” Smart said. “He’s as unique a person and player as I’ve been around. Mo’s combination of talent, intellect and ability to impact others will make him a catalyst in our program and on our campus from day one.”

Bamba averaged 12.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game in his senior season (2016-17) while leading Westtown School to a 32-2 mark and a second consecutive Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state title. As a junior, he averaged 14.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 blocks per game in pacing Westtown to the state championship. He also helped Westtown register a 26-6 record in his sophomore season in 2014-15.

Bamba plans to pursue his interest in marketing within the McCombs School of Business.

Bamba is the fifth high school senior to sign with Texas and gives them a class ranked as high as third best in the nation by Rivals.com.

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